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Nov 01
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On Grumpiness

photo by Charles Blackhall

photo by Charles Blackhall

Shambhala Times Updates from the Inside Out
Editor’s Column

by Sarah Lipton
Shambhala Times Editor-in-chief

It’s a grumpy time of year, for me anyway. It’s raining, the leaves have fallen, the kale is wilting in the garden, and the skies are mostly grey.

I sigh, breathe out and feel some kind of tender rawness. I’m grumpy. But I’m starting to think it’s not a bad thing. There’s a wellspring of depth, a source of creativity here in this misty, moist mind-space. Things feel possible, not stuck. But things are not quite what I want them to be. It’s almost like the grumpiness is a physical reaction to resting with things as they are. I’m not caught up in a fantasy of how I want things to be, and there’s a grittiness to my experience. Things just are as they are. It’s tender. It’s a little scary, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s real, earthy, pungent.

Deep down in the underbelly of the mountains, where trolls and other dark creepy-crawlies live, down deep, where the water comes from, are the roots of things. The roots of our thoughts, the lineage of our emotions and experience arises out of this deep, dark space. It must be why dragons dive deep down into the mountains, must be where they collect the dew that glistens on their scales when they ascend to fly high above, sparkling in the air. Without the creative renewal of diving back to our roots, we remain rootless, ungrounded, untethered to reality as it is.

When we ground down to our roots we are more able to open up to the truth of reality. For me, there is a flavor of sadness to this truth. Sadness and joy as well. I begin to taste the true soil of my experience and it allows me to slowly spread my wings and soar up through misty clouds into the fearless, directionless, sun filled space of reality.

On this November 1st, this dia de los muertos, I ask you to be earthy. Feel grumpy. Trust the roots and ride the tides. We do not need to overcome grumpiness. But we can learn how to ride the grump with cheerfulness. We can become cheerful grumps. Tasting reality, as it is, right now, this very moment.

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Sarah Lipton~~
Sarah Lipton has been the Shambhala Times Editor-in-Chief for just over two years. She plans to continue in this role for a little while longer, even though her world travels are slowing down and she and her husband are getting ready to settle down in the Burlington, Vermont area. What does she plan to do this fall and winter? Write books, make quilts, and cook delicious food. See previous editorials here.

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3 responses to “ On Grumpiness ”
  1. Lucille Celestino
    Nov 3, 2013

    Thank you Sarah for the gift of this article.” I am so out of sorts today” I exclaimed earlier. It is grey. It is cold. There is a heaviness that I could only describe as inertia but it feels like a smothering weight when I begin to think of lifting myself out of it. The imagery you use, the dance of the words, is quite lovely. And just enough so as not to deny grumpiness its due. I feel a little more cheerful about my grumpiness now.

  2. Gretta Hunjan
    Nov 2, 2013

    Thanks for this beautiful writing that I needed to hear today. More please!
    From a fellow, cheerful grumparian.

  3. Robert W French
    Nov 1, 2013

    Nice to see your face, albeit painted!

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